Am I a Good Enough Mother?

Airliner landingThe question gnaws at our hearts: “Am I a good enough mother or father?ย  Am I being the best parent I can be?”

Have you ever flown on a commercial airplane? Are you aware that the majority of the time the airplane does not travel on its specific flight course? How do planes reach their destination, when factors such as air currents and weather constantly move it off course?

Obviously, the pilot’s navigation results in bringing the airplane to its destination. Throughout the flight, the pilot guides the plan towards its intended flight path. The destination is kept in the pilot’s mind all through the journey, and no matter how far away from its route the plane is flying, he constantly is constantly steering back towards the intended destination.

Today, our parenting responsibilities closely resemble an airplane pilot’s flight plans.

It is impossible to be a perfect parent all of the time. We cannot hope to stay on a defined course. There are too many variables, such as children’s personalities, pressures of the workplace, and the unexpected dynamics of everyday living.

Parenting advice must be viewed as a flight plan. The guidelines should be viewed as an overall strategy, not a specific map, to reach our destination. By keeping the appropriate parenting path in mind, we can keep ourselves from straying too far off course, and hopefully reach our goals.

Have a safe trip!

Amazon ImageAuthor, Brad Sachs, rightly points out that we have become a clan of overly anxious mothers and fathers who place far too much pressure on our children as well as ourselves. He laments that we strive for perfection, pushing children to become musical prodigies, athletic superstars, and superior scholars. Then, when our children fall short of our grandiose (and let’s face it, often unrealistic) expectations, parents feel like failures. The Good Enough Child: How to Have an Imperfect Family and Be Perfectly Satisfied explores the differences between what you want FOR your child and what you want FROM your child.

Read the reviews of The Good Enough Child right now and increase your parenting confidence!

More Resources:

[one-third-first]Amazon ImageThe Good Enough Child: An Imperfect Family and Be Perfectly Satisfied[/one-third-first][one-third]Amazon ImageWhen No One Understands: Letters to a Teenager on Life, Loss, and the Road to Adulthood[/one-third][one-third]Amazon ImageEmptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult toward Success and Self-Reliance[/one-third]


  1. I guess my question is…do we ever land? LOL As I look at my 18yod, I can see that by the time I feel I have landed, I will take off again this time as a grandma…ugh! I am too young for such a thing! ๐Ÿ™‚

    We do fly by the seat of our pants very much, and it is evident that the ultimate pilot is in control…God. He is the only reason any of us make it through this flight.

    Happy flight!


  2. Well put, Ellen. I have spent many sleepless nights wondering if I’m doing all that I can do for my children. I just ordered the Good Enough Child on amazon- thanks for all your resourceful links!

  3. What a relief, I hate trying to be perfectly perfect 24/7!

    Thanks for this article; it came at just the right moment!

    Now I can breathe- WHEWWWW!

  4. My son is the product of the so called “broken home” and I worry about that constantly. He has the added challenge of being of mixed race. His father and I are on good terms and co-parent as best we can. We constantly wonder about both of those issues as our son grows up; he is now 16. We both try to be great parents but we know we are sadly lacking due to our circumstances. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, there are external situations that factor into a child’s life as well. Talk about flying by the seat of your pants. The one thing we always make sure there is a lot of is love for our child.

    • Hi Tammy, we are doing the best we can in the imperfect lives that we lead- life has a way of throwing unexpected challenges into all of our plans- some are very obvious, and others are less so. It sounds like your son is fortunate to have the abundance of love that his parents bestow upon him.

  5. Loved this article! Thank you, thank you! It reasured me that I’m normal (LOL) and that I can relax and enjoy the path I’ve chosen. I know that I’m not alone….that there are many of us trying to stay on the right path!

  6. Jo-Anne Layton says:

    No “prescriptions” here … but solid suggestions on HOW TO develop better self-examination skills and objective reviewing of family dynamics. “Letting go” as we gradually allow our children to become self-determining individuals separate from family expectations – is an ART, not a science! The less this process is filled with our own ‘ghosts’ the freer the child is to become a more ‘authentic’ human being!

    I am considering buying this book – if not all 3 of Dr. Sach’s publications!

  7. I swear this Article was written for me. My husband tells me I am too uptight and I stress too much. My 12 yr old daughter says I am way to strict and would probably agree I need to chill a little. I am a type A, perfectionist who wants my child to be just as motivated and sucessful as I have been in reaching my intended goals in life. This book caught my eye and I can’t wait to read it and apply some of the principles to my life. I am sure my family will be grateful :0)

  8. “Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful.” My lifes motto, written on a plaque, hanging on my kitchen wall… right next to my other life motto “if it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done around here.” Just a piece of the madness we call life ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. If being an effective mom was meassureable….I’d be the first in queue! But since I don’t think there is one standard to guage all moms and each child, rightly said is unique, we should each do what we think is best and then ‘let children, be children’.

  10. I spend way to much time wondering if I am doing the right thing. I constantly second guess myself, and I know that sometimes my children sense that hesitation. Thank you so much for this. I quick checked my e-mail for something I saw this and decided to take a precious few seconds to check it out. I am so glad I did. You have made my day!!!!
    Now I need to go figure out what my two yeat old just flushed down the toilet.

  11. Elisa Cox says:

    What a fun perspective on the saying that I’ve lived by for YEARS ( flying by the seat of my pants).
    I never really thought of the plane’s course! I have 8 kids mostly grown, (17 and 15yr olds still at home), and 5 grandchildren. Some of them have been flights that had 1 or 2 short lay over/ connections to get them where they are today and some have had longer delays or seemed to miss their connection. But they are all still expecting to arrive at their final destination – Home with the Lord! For that I am so incredibly thankful!!! No – they’re not perfect and neither is their Mom or Dad – in fact, THEY have taught US many invaluable lessons!! I’ve spent my fair share of time second guessing through 31 yrs of child rearing and 23 yrs of homeschooling!! I don’t know how many other grandmas are on this site still learning and enjoying the reminiscing that these articles stir… but I for one LOVE this web site!!! Thank you Ellen for the treasure that you share with us all! God bless you!!